Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year End Little This and That

2017 seemed to fly by. Several people have posted pictures of their year and more. I was inspired to look back through the year to see what caught my eye and share it with you. 
January we had a smattering of snow. When we were out birding we came upon some Whoooping Cranes. They left their big foot prints in the snow. I love to find wildlife tracks in the snow. These are some unique tracks by endangered birds.
February I noticed in my garden that one of the older dogwoods was sporting some beautiful moss and lichen. These colors enliven our home. I just realized where I was inspired.
March warmed enough that the bees were out and about. It is always fun to see them inspecting the flowers so early in the season.
April was even warmer. Being outside cleaning out the flower beds I looked down and noticed what I thought was an elephants foot. Not really but do you see the elephant foot as a base of this tree?
Also in April the blackberries were flowering up a storm and more bees were taking advantage.
May brought us a dreaded chipmunk. It harrassed the birds at the feeders and the poor wrens in their box. He eventually settled out front someplace. I rarely saw him but I had a UPS driver tell me he saw him as he was delivering so he was still around later in the year.
June the wren box was about to explode.
Also in June as we were out birding we came upon a King Rail. King Rails are not plentiful around here so it was a particularly choice sighting. As you can probably tell by this photo they don't like to be seen. We hear them more than see them. 
July I just love this wild iris. It always makes me happy to see it and it is beginning to make a little colony.
August didn't bring us much rain. You could see the wear and tear on not just the garden but the visitors.  
September the grapes were over ripe. I didn't get any jelly made this year. This doesn't please me a bit. After I have had homemade grape jelly it is difficult to go back to store bought. In my defense we did some remodeling in the house during this time, I was busier than usual.
October is when I found this mushroom that I had never seen before. It was in an unlikely place. I believe this is an Amanita muscaria.
November held a wonderful surprise. It had been cold but we were having near record temps. On a sunny day a little bee came to one of the few blooms left in the garden. Of course this is a hover fly as Cheryl kindly corrected me. I don't want anyone to be misguided by my  bee brain. 
December brought some nice sightings. While we were doing a Christmas Bird Count we came upon a covey of Northern Bobwhite. They sat in the road pretending to be rocks so as we wouldn't notice. Notice we did. My Dearly Beloved took some great pictures of a few of them huddled together. We more often hear these birds singing their name sake song. It was a delight to see them out in the open.
Another even more unusual sighting we had in December was a first winter male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. It is the latest we have ever seen one and it was coming to suet just outside my home office window. What a way to end the season. There are only a hand full of sightings of this bird in Southern Indiana at this time of year.
I hope you have had some delights through the year. I and wish you many more this coming year. 


  1. Happy New Year! I want to put out some wren boxes. What time of year would be best?

    1. If your House wrens migrate South for the winter I would put up a wren box a month or so before they return. Here that would be March. I think the newness of the box would wear off and seem more like a natural nesting site. I leave my boxes out all year. I clean them out each fall after the House Wrens leave for the winter.

  2. Happy New year! I enjoyed looking at your photos throughout the year! The bird feeding the baby is a great shot! Wishing you the very best, Deb

  3. Happy New Year dear friend,
    Beautiful post, wonderful wildlife extracts.

    Your November bee Lisa, was in fact a hoverfly. Just as beautiful and a wonderful addition to an Autumn garden.
    Many people confuse them because the markings are so similar.

    I would think that chipmunks have similar behaviour to a squirrel ?? We do not have them here so I am only guessing.

    Happy New Year Lisa, hope it proves to be a good one :)

  4. Thank you Cheryl. Happy New Year to you too.

    I actually knew that was a hover fly. I just had Bee on the brain. ha.. Thank you for reminding me.

    Chipmunks are just like squirrels except they do more damage to the soil around your garden. Tunneling etc. They are cute as a button though so it is difficult to get too angry at them except when they do damage.

    Yes, I am looking forward to 2018. I hope it is a good one for you too.

    1. Yes I agree they are sweet looking animals.
      Thank you for the information, much better from a friend than research :)

      I understand, I always have bees on the brain , but then I would :)

  5. That is one perfect year by any definition. An elephant's foot and a bird I've never even heard of, let alone seen!

  6. You had some very special visitors in 2017! Beautiful Michigan Lilies and Grape Hyacinths, too!

  7. Wonderful post and photos ~ favorites are the little chipmunk and the wren ~

    Happy New to you!
    A ShutterBug Explores

  8. Lovely to see these highlights of the past year and be reminded of what we can look forward to--once it warms up! Wishing you and DB all the best in the New Year!

  9. Happy new year, Lisa! Your garden looks nice every month of the year. Love the birds on you pictures.

  10. I've never seen a King Rail - nice photo! I also really like the one of the bee with Muscari.

  11. Love the Grosbeaks huddled together!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  12. Well, this whole post was a delight! Lucky you to see such a variety of birds. Love the little bobwhites.

  13. Thanks for visiting and commenting and hope all is well ~

    Happy Week ahead,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)


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